College of Education > Academics > Leadership, Language & Curriculum > Licensure & Endorsements > English as a Second Language Endorsement

English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsement

In today’s increasingly multilingual and multicultural schools, there is an ever-growing need for responsive teachers who nurture students’ ability to speak more than one language. English as a Second Language (ESL) educators know how students learn the English language and are passionate advocates for bilingual students.

The ESL endorsement program offers practicing licensed teachers the opportunity to support educational and social change for traditionally underserved students, families and communities. In just one year, students can complete all of the coursework required to obtain an Illinois state endorsement in ESL; in addition, students in the ESL endorsement program who are bilingual will have the option to take one additional class and a language proficiency exam to earn a Bilingual Education endorsement.

Program graduates work as ESL teachers in urban and suburban public and private schools, dual language schools and charter schools. As the immigrant and English Language Learner (ELL) population continues to grow, so will the need for quality ESL teachers.

Are you interested in enrolling in this program? View its admission requirements and application instructions here or contact the College of Education’s Office of Graduate Admission at (773) 325-4405.


The English as a Second Language Endorsement program leads to an ESL endorsement, which can be added to an Illinois teaching license (PEL).

Program Format

To accommodate working professionals, all classes in the ESL endorsement program meet in the evening at DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus. In addition, the program’s schedule is flexible, allowing students to enroll full-time or part-time as their professional and personal schedules allow.

Program Requirements

The ESL Endorsement program includes 24 quarter hours of coursework in Bilingual/Bicultural Education and 100 hours of clinical experience.

This program is typically eligible for financial aid. Please see this document and consult your advisor in the COE.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for the English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and hold a valid teaching license.

To apply, please submit the following items to The Office of Graduate Admission:

  • A completed application
  • Application fee ($40.00)
  • One official transcript from all colleges and/or universities attended
  • A copy of valid professional educator license
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors or employers
  • Statement of purpose indicating professional development goals and related experience (750 words) 

Course Requirements

28 quarter hours, grade of C or better required

Must complete the coursework and field experience hours below:


Endorsement Application

Individuals must submit an application directly to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) upon successful completion of the required coursework.  All individuals must meet ISBE requirements at the time of application.  Requirements are subject to change per the discretion of ISBE. 

Content displayed from DePaul University catalog.

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